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CNN
Dec 5, 2012 1:00pm PST
the syrian president bashar al assad may be looking for a safe haven outside syria. brian todd has the story for us. >> there's little doubt that bashar al assad's regime is in trouble now. he's isolated, has few friends left in the world. we've now gotten reports that assad may be casting a net among those friends for a way out. his army is on the ropes, fighting for its life around damascus and aleppo. he may be in the process of making chemical weapons. right now, everything about assad smacks of desperation. he's looking into the possibility of seeking asylum for himself, his family and their inner circle in latin america. >> we understand that some countries both in the region and elsewhere have offered to host assad and his family should he choose to lead syria. >> the foreign minister was recently in venezuela delivering a message from bashar al assad. the minister was also in cuba and ecuador bringing classified letters from assad to leaders there. we could not get responses from syrian leaders in the u.s. or latin american governments to respond. multiple sources in the u.s., europe
CNN
Dec 7, 2012 11:00pm PST
military plans against syria as new intelligence shows assad's regime is loading sarin gas into bombs. and president obama's pot problem. let's go "outfront." >>> i'm tom foreman in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the magic number after a whole week of harsh words here in washington and threats too, did house speaker john boehner hint ever so slightly at a compromise today that could finally edge us away from the dreaded fiscal cliff? it comes down to tax rates. this is a huge sticking point in the stalled negotiations between the president and mr. boehner. obama says the top rate on household income above $250,000 should rise from 35% to 39.6%. boehner wants the rate to stay at 35% or even lower. but what about meeting in the middle? around 37%? listen carefully to the speaker when he was asked today whether that rate could be the answer to this impasse. >> there are a lot of things that are possible. to put the revenue the president seeks on the table. but none of it's going to be possible if the president insists on his position. insists on my way or the highway. >> you hear
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 9:00am PST
that is very critical that the assad regime is not getting ready to use chemical weapons in syria, and here's why. because the question we're asking is how real is the threat? not just for syrians, but for the region, because once you start using chemical weapons, loaded in warheads, you are looking at death tolls in the thousands, possibly in the tens of thousands also threatening neighboring countries. syria is geographically very central in the region. now, here are some of the reasons why syria and the assad regime might not be considering the use of chemical weapons. first, the two masters of the assad regime. iran and russia are against it. the regime of bashir aul awes youred would be taking huge risks if it started threatening the syrian population and surrounding countries with these types of weapons. also, there's a military reason why it would not necessarily make sense for bashir al assad to use chemical weapons. this, by the way, is the kind of analysis i've seen as well in other publications. chemical weapons would be difficult to deploy against a guerrilla force. why? because
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 11:00am PST
has made very clear that there will be consequences, there will be consequences if the assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people. >> earlier today, leon panetta. we'll have a report from the pentagon on syria in a moment. >>> first, shock waves in washington. a powerful republican senator suddenly calling it quits. south carolina senator jim demint will step down december 31st to lead the heritage foundation. it's a powerful conservative think tank in washington. demint says he can be more effective outside the senate. >> a lot of my role in the senate has been stopping bad things and saying no to bad things. but we need to do more than that and tell americans what we're for. one of the mistakes i think the republican party made the last two years is trying to make obama the issue without sharing with america bold reform ideas that get people inspired to get behind us. >> senator demint, huge tea party supporter. sometimes clashes with his own party's leadership. he is leaving with four years left in his senate term. earlier, he said h
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 11:00pm PST
is anning to do if assad uses chemical weapons against his own people. and 24-year-old amy copeland contracted a deadly flesh eating disease in may. doctors gave her a 1% chance of "outfront" to talk about it. let's go "outfront." tonight, gangnam style. yep, this is how one man sees the fiscal cliff and it's a pretty important man. this is alan simpson. ♪ yep. that maybe the most action the fiscal cliff saw today. here's the scene on capitol hill at noon. yep, people leaving. members of congress leaving washington, heading home on wednesday afternoon. one man left standing was the house speaker and he says i'm not going anywhere. >> i'll be here and i'll be available at any moment to sit down with the president to get serious about solving this problem. >> but of course, it takes two to tango, so where does president obama stand? >> we can probably solve this in about a week. it's not that tough. >> it's not that tough. he's absolutely right about that. but we heard early this evening that the president and speaker boehner did speak late today on the phone, so that's good news, b
CNN
Dec 4, 2012 5:00pm PST
ahead, 21 months after bashir al assad began killing his own people, the fighting is raging in syria. the rest of the world may finally be convinced things are critical there. senator john mccain is asking what took so long. more from him ahead. if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough. but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants t
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 1:00am PST
bashir al assad began killing his own people, the fighting is raging in syria. the rest of the world may finally be convinced things are critical there. senator john mccain is asking what took so long. we'll tell you about what just changed. more from him, ahead. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. >>> welcome back. for 21 months now, we've been asking you to look at the images that keep coming out of syria, to watch the nearly unwatchable. we know it can be mind-numbing. we understand the desire to look away. but we believe and we continue to believe it's imperative that the rest of the world bear witness to what's
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 4:00pm PST
has made very clear that there will be consequences. there will be consequences. if the assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons. >> syria denies it is mobilizing chemical weapons in a civil war in which 40,000 people have lost theirs in 21 months. instead, they say they're trying to create fear and set for an attack. hillary clinton met with russia's foreign minister twice today in dublin. these are important meetings because russia is a syrian alley. but is it too late? national security contributor, fran townsend, is a member of the cia. cedrick layton member of the joipt staff. what are those consequences? is the u.s. going to passing the point of no return here? >> well, it is, look, the most recent information suggests they're preparing to be able to launch these warheads containing gas and other chemical weapons. that's a problem because now, a military strike could trigger the dissemination of such weapons. what you have to do now is is get the timely tactical intelligence to interrupt the decision cycle. that is get between assad and the individu
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 8:00pm PST
a fiscal hawk? plus, syrian president al assad aaccuses the u.s. of manufacturing stories as a pretext for an invasion. defense secretary leon panetta responding today. after john mack cahfee is in cu, he was rushed to the hospital. and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ female announcer ] live the regular life. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may
CNN
Dec 8, 2012 7:00am PST
's take a listen to this. >> to the assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start saying a whole bunch of chemicals weapons being moved around or being utilized. that would change my call ccula. >> if moving weapons has already happened, have we crossed that red line that obama drew? >> well, already there is sort of a moving red line, if you like. the president clearly said movement of weapons or the preparation of such weapons to be used. now, we've seen the last several statements from the administration have just said "using those weapons." if they were used, that would be a red line. so honestly, we're not quite sure what it means. are we going to have to see them be used before there's some kind of reaction, or will they know when they're about to be used? it's still rather unclear. and actually, it's a little indicative of the entire approach to syria. it's very unclear what the strategy is and what the end result will be. and i feel that with all the conversations i've had with u.s. officials, that they are extremely worried about another
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 7:00pm PST
weapons into a bomb and awaiting the president assad. we'll talk it over next. ♪ [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough. five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. before you begin an aspirin regimen. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. she also likes to ride her bike. she knows the potential for making or losing money can pop up anytime. that's why she trades with the leader in mobile trading. so she's always ready to take action, no matter how wily... or
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 10:00pm PST
. syrian military loading chemical weapons into a bomb and awaiting the president assad. that's the concern of u.s. officials, the belief that's happened. we'll talk it over next.  >>> welcome back. we have important breaking news to tell you about right now. nbc news is reporting u.s. officials say their worst fears have been confirmed that the syrian military has loaded chemical weapons inside bombs. nbc says those same officials say bashar al assad's forces are awaiting final order to use those loaded missiles against syria's own people. this video posted online, which we can't independently verify, purports to show syrian missiles that have been modified to carry chemical and biological weapons. obviously, this is a sobering development in a situation that seems to be getting worse by the day. pentagon correspondent barbara starr joins me now, along with cnn contributor and former cia officer bob baer and on the phone, fran townsend. barbara, i know you're working to confirm this nbc report. how much would this change the situation? if u.s. military is going to act to prevent as
CNN
Dec 8, 2012 5:00am PST
, secretary of state clinton and defense secretary leon panetta have warned president bashar al assad that using chemical weapons crosses the red line. >> the world is watching. the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. >> so the question is what would that action look like? cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr has a look. >> reporter: randi, for defense secretary leon panetta, the major priority now is to try to determine syria's intent. does it intend to use chemical weapons? with the u.s. now believing the syrian government has chemical weapon-filled bombs, cnn has learned the pentagon is secretly updating military strike options for president obama in the event he orders action. a senior u.s. official tells cnn a strike could be carried out with the ships and aircraft already stationed in the region. the planning is being driven by the latest intelligence which u.s. officials say shows sarin gas has been loaded into aerial bombs in at least two locations. syria seems to have crossed the line drawn by the president last august. >> a red line for us is we
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 12:00am PST
assad regime might turn to chemical weapons. or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within syria. >> secretary of state clinton's concern as nbc reports that syria is loading its bombs with chemical weapons. welcome to you both. this is pretty serious, isn't it, nick? you've just been in syria. is it actually news, in the sense of this is the first we heard of this? or are the pentagon briefing, this is a reality? >> have have been reports already, that syria has weaponized its nerve gas already into scud missiles, into artillery and into bombs. these have been going on, in fact, i noticed cnn two days ago had reported something similar. there seems to be more reports that chemicals for nerve gas are being united. there team seems to be more reports of them mixing. that's pretty alarming. >> i remember covering back in britain, the iraq war buildup. and we had almost exactly the same pattern. bad guy has chemical weapons about to use them on his people. we have to do something. turned out to be a lot of twadle. how do we know this intelligence
CNN
Dec 7, 2012 1:00am PST
, the latest advances by the opposition seem to add incentives to the syrian government to use them. the assad regime denies having chemical weapons, and claims the reports are being used to justify an international invasion. after more than 20 months of fighting and more than 40,000 civilian deaths, the civil war appears to be at a crossroads. the fear of sarin gas is very real tonight. what are people there facing if the assad regime does use what they have or believe to have? i spoke with former cia officer bob bear and sanjay gupta. bob, explain what one bomb could do? >> the standard shell is a 122 millimeter shell, standard artillery piece. if they were to drop this into a dense area of damascus, or a suburb of homs, doesn't matter which town, it would instantly kill 18,000 the first few minutes. >> just from one shell? >> go up there. one single shell would immediately kill 18,000 people. you know, this is a liquid. it's dispersed. it sticks on you. you get a few -- a little bit in your system and you're dead. >> sanjay, what does it do to somebody that comes in contact with it? >> it a
CNN
Dec 4, 2012 4:00pm PST
minister and middle east envoy tony blair had the same message for bashar al assad earlier today with season dad o'brien on "starting point." >> if there was any sense at all that assad was going to use chemical weapons or did use chemical weapons against his people, i would expect a tough response that would be military. >> the question tonight is what role will the united states play in such a quote, unquote, military response? "outfront" tonight, peter brooks, former deputy assistant secretary of defense under the bush administration, and colonel cedrick layton, former member of the joint staff. good to see both of you. colonel layton, let me start with you. if the united states were to get involved at this point, what would a serious u.s. military intervention in syria look like? >> it would probably, erin, start out with a no fly zone type operation, similar to what we had during operation southern watch, which -- and northern watch, which basically governed the skies over those parts of iraq after the first gulf war. that would be the first step. however, in order to secure
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 8:00pm PST
, no deal, and what syria is planning to do if bashar al assad will do if he uses chemical weapons against his own people? a woman with a 1% survival after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria. she made it. tonight let's go "out front." >>> good evening. i'm erin burnett. out front, gangnam style. this is how one man sees the fiscal cliff. this is allen simpson, as in the simpson in simpson/bowles. ♪ >> yep, that may be the most actions the fiscal cliff saw today. here's the scene on capitol hill here at noon. yep, people leaving, members of congress leaving washington, heading home on a wednesday afternoon. one man standing was the house speaker and he says, i'm not going anywhere. >> i'll be here and i'll be available at any moment to sit down with the president to get serious about solving this problem. >> but, of course, it takes two to tango. where does president obama stand? >> we can probably solve this in about a week. it's not that tough. >> he's absolutely right about that. but we heard earlier this evening the president and speaker boehner did speak late today on the phone. tha
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 8:00am PST
disturbing turn. there's word that president bashar al assad may be thinking about using chemical weapons and more specifically nerve gas against his own people. an nbc report shows video it says depicts the syrian military loaning components for air gas into aerial bombs. those could be bombs that might be dropped from warplanes onto the innocent syrian people below but they say they would never do that to their own people though we have been seeing what they have been doing to their own people for the last year and a half now. >>> secretary of state hillary clinton is leading a new u.s. diplomatic push on syria holding talks in dublin, ireland, today. let me begin with you. including this distressing nbc news report, what and how much do we know about al assad's movements at this point? >> reporter: there have been concerns for months. the u.s. reiterated for quite some time if assad did anything with those chemical weapons and utilize them in any way, theat would be a red line that brought on consequences. there's not concern that bashar al assad might iutilize them against his own peo
CNN
Dec 10, 2012 8:00pm PST
simple morality play, which is assad and his regime are awful, brutal dictators. they have been oppressing their people. on another level, it's complicated. there are a number of people against the government who are also bad guys. there are a lot of people supporting the government. a lot of kurds and christians and syrians in syria are supporting the government, not because they like the government -- >> you have assad fighting an al qaeda-linked group, so maybe we should be helping assad, according to logic. >> all of which tells you we need to learn more about what's going on. we need to support the good guys. i think we should do that and we can do that, but let's make sure they really are good guys. >> that brings me to the issue of chemical weapons. there's talk that russia has them and assad might use them. do you believe any of that? do we really know when you think back to iraq, do we really know what chemical weapons syria has and whether assad would use them or if they could come into the hands of the al qaeda-linked groups or rebels that could use them? >> my guess
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 1:00pm PST
. can the world prevent bashar al assad from using chemical weapons against his own people? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >>> we begin with president obama taking his battle to extend tax cuts for the middle class into the heart of the middle class suburb today. he visited a family just outside washington, d.c., using their story to dramatize what will happen in just 26 days if he and congress can't make a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff. a source of great concern for so many people, everyone's taxes will go up, will go up if there's no deal. let's go live to our white house correspondent dan lothian. he's on the scene for us over at the white house. how did it go, dan? >> reporter: well, wolf, we've seen the president do this before in the past whenever he's locked in negotiations with lawmakers. he heads out on the road, either goes to a backyard or sits down around a dinner table to put pressure on congress. that's what he did today when he went to falls church sitting down with the santana family. their parents who also are employed live in the household wi
CNN
Dec 10, 2012 1:00pm PST
of the radical rebel groups in syria fighting the bashar al assad government a foreign terrorist organization. our arwa damon is inside syria right now. we're going to get her reaction. that's in the next hour. >>> also, if secretary of state hillary clinton runs for president, is it game over for the republicans chances in 2016? a former republican presidential candidate has a scary prediction for his own party. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with ou
CNN
Dec 12, 2012 9:00am PST
's what's going on right now. president obama no longer sees bashar al assad as the real representative of the syrian people. the rebels fighting to throw overthrow assad are legitimate enough and organized enough to act as a bonafide government. several recognize the opposition fighters as the people's true representatives. >> the syrian opposition coalition is inclusive enough and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people in opposition to the assad regime. >> we want to bring in holly from cnn international. what does that mean exactly when he's recognizing now the opposition as the true, legitimate representatives of the people who are there? >> essentially, it's what he said. al assad is not the representative of the syrian people. the u.s. and other than western countries have called on bashar al assad to step down. concretely it is a diplomatic move. it was expected. what it doesn't change and this is what the rebels and the opposition want is whether or not they get more money and more arms. they're say
CNN
Dec 11, 2012 9:00am PST
regime bases across syria, many thinking the end of assad is nearer than ever. why has the united states, who also want assad gone, black listed them as terrorists? >> we've had concerns that al nusra is little more than a front for al qaeda in iraq who has moved some of its operations into syria. >> reporter: that link clear in the document filed monday, al nusra deemed not a new group, another name for al qaeda in iraq. u.s. officials believing insurgents who kill americans in iraq fighting for rebels against assad. this move may make sense in principle but, say experts now, less so in practice. >> this creates confusing picture for the syrians because nusra is the hardest hitting group among the rebels. u.s. wants to take down assad but at the same time cutting the rebels off at the knee. it doesn't make sense. >> the group should be considered a terrorist organization based on the fact that there are allegedly connections with al qaeda in iraq. the long term after the regime does fall, i do think it will provide an opening since most of the rebels, while respect nusra doesn't believe
CNN
Dec 8, 2012 3:00am PST
weapons by assad's forces. >> we have set an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account. >> if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable. >> held accountable. it's unclear exactly what that means, but what about military intervention to stop the assad regime. >> the president of the united states has made very clear that there will be consequences. there will be consequences. if the assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people. >> i'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. but suffice to say, we are certainly planning to take action, if that eventuality were to occur. >> a promise of action, but, again, no specifics. so, what would a military intervention look like? >> if your objective is to destroy the chemical munitions, then perhaps you can go in and bomb them or otherwis
CNN
Dec 10, 2012 8:00am PST
weapons situation, the fear that perhaps bashar al assad might actually use chemical weapons on his own people now being exacerbated on a report that perhaps the blame is coming back to us and the accusation from the syrians that we're trying to actually get a hold of those chemical weapons and make it look like the syrian regime has done so. fareed zakari's back with us to talk about this report. it seems as though this is rather serious. only the government, assad's administration has sent a couple of letters to the u.n. suggesting this is all a big plot by the u.s. to get those weapons into the hands of opposition members and then blame the syrians. does this seem logical or like a reach? >> i think it's part of a strategy that the assad regime has decided upon, which is that america is the cause of this. that there is an internal group of terrorists supported by the united states and saudi arabia, so this is part of what the syrians are doing. it's a last ditch effort. i don't think anyone in syria believes it. there's zero chance that the united states is doipg anything like this.
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 5:00pm PST
, the latest advances by the opposition seem to add incentives to the syrian government to use them. assad regime claims the reports are being used to justify an international invasion. after more than 20 months of fighting and more than 40,000 civilian deaths, the civil war appears to be at a crossroads. tonight i spoke to a syrian opposition activist. the reporting that the assad regime might be preparing to use chemical weapons are -- are people there aware of the possibility and if so what's been the reaction? >> well, i mean, it's just possible. yes. because if you ask me a few weeks or a few months ago, would the regime use jet fighters, i would have told you i doubt. but now, the regime is using jet fighters against the people why wouldn't the regime use chemical weapons? now, they're saying there's no concrete evidence of a sign of so. just media reports. however, people are really panicking. >> at this point, what do you hope for? what do people there -- if there's hope of somehow stopping this slaughter, what is the hope? i mean, is the hope that someone will intervene, the unite
CNN
Dec 12, 2012 1:00pm PST
to bashar al assad reach into their arsenal for more deadly weapons. even scud missile. officials say assad has between 3 and 400 of those short and medium-range missiles in his stockpile. the regime forces launched a scud from the suburbs of damascus. >> if this proves to be true, it's another indication of the deparagraph tea of assad and his crohn knees. >> once more, the forces last week started using what's called barrel bombs. >> it contains flammable materials. it's sort of a napalm and it's very, very concerning and indicative of the regime's brutality. >> human rights groups say it causes extremely painful burns, often down to the bone, burns that are often hard to treat. this comes after signs that an increasingly desperate assad is moving closer to using chemical weapons. chemical weapons plus scud missiles would be a lethal combination. >> if you were to marry up a chem kabl warhead on to the scud, you now have an area denial weapon system which is very nasty. it affects everybody. it doesn't discriminate from friend or foe. >> one means of stopping scuds, patriot air defense sy
CNN
Dec 11, 2012 2:00am PST
on this big, big show, there's concern about the assad regime using chemical weapons in syria. also concerned, what happens if the rebels find those weapons first? we'll have a look at that serious issue ahead. >>> does the new movie "zero dark 30" cross the line when it comes to waterboarding? we'll hear from the filmmaker. plenty of gain, without all that pain... with olay. i tell them dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can grow and multiply. polident is specifically designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste
CNN
Dec 7, 2012 11:00am PST
the civil war. there are new concerns the assad regime is preparing to use chemical weapons. let's get to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, how does this change the u.s. military's syria plan? are we talking u.s. troops, boots on the ground? >> well, not at this point, clearly, deb. but what we do know is that u.s. officials tell us that they are updating some of the military options for action against syria's chemical weapons capability, why are they doing this? of course, we chatted about this in the last several days. officials say they do have the intelligence now that syria has filled aerial bombs with deadly sarin gas. haven't moved it to airplanes yet, but this is very concerning because that, of course, would be the next step. so once you have the deadly bombs, the u.s. has to look at what the options could be, what they might want to target to essentially take out that kind of capabilities. so that's the options that are now being worked on. deb? >> i mean, the implications are just stunning that the assad regime would actually use deadly gas on its own people
CNN
Dec 11, 2012 4:00pm PST
will formally recognize the syrian opposition forces fighting with syrian president bashir al assad. here's what the president told barbara walters. >> we made a decision that the syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people in opposition to the assad regime. >> this, by the way, comes nearly a month oafter britain ad france recognized the coalition. the move is important to the coalition. it is looking to get rid of this man, al assad, but it doesn't mean washington will be giving them weapons any time soon. that is a huge sticking point. defense secretary leon panetta is saying there is no new intelligence indicating assad's regime is moving any closer to using the chemical weapons that had so many people on edge just earlier this week. >>> tonight, we are also learning that an american has been held in north korea for more than a month now. according to south korean newspapers, kenneth bayh is a tour operator who was detained after someone on his to
CNN
Dec 6, 2012 4:00am PST
, why are there so many concerns? not just because people are worried what bashar al assad might do with these chemical weapon stockpiles, as there have been for months, but more as rebels are advancing on damascus and the battling are getting more heated and pitched around the capital, there are concerns that if damascus were to fall, what would happen to chemical weapon stockpiles? could they get into the hands of groups that are fighting with syrian rebels? a big concern, and we've heard more calls from the u.s. administration, warning that bashar al assad if we were to utilize chemical weapons against the population of syria, that would be a clear red line, they would face consequences. we must add one more thing, that the syrian regime has repeatedly said, including today, they have no intention of utilizing chemical weapons against syrian. >> mohammed jamjoom for us this morning, thanks for the update. >>> let's turn right to zoraida sambolin. she's got a look at the rest of the day's top stories. >> good morning to you. breaking the ice, president obama and john byron finally
CNN
Dec 8, 2012 4:00am PST
and children have been slaughtered and after nearly two years of this administration saying, you know, assad must step down and it not happening, the best one can hope for, perhaps, is that you know some kind of intervention that shortens this war. without intervention, it's going to be a long war. u.s. officials have told me that despite the gains by the rebels recently, they don't see any sign that assad or his regime are going to crack or break any time soon. so, they believe that this could go on for a long time. so, again, the question is, could you do something to shorten this brutal, dirty civil war or are you going to do nothing or continue along the path that you are right now and have a long, extended war? >> and if we are waiting for russia to come around and pave the way to a u.n. resolution similar to that in the case of libya, do you think that that waiting will pay off? >> i don't think so. it's hard to imagine russia at this point, anyway, from my vantage point. maybe i have been proved wrong. approving of a u.n. resolution. even in the latest talks that secretary of state hi
CNN
Dec 5, 2012 9:00pm PST
drawn. if assad tries to use chemical weapons on his people, america will answer. two-fold. will assad do this as a last hoorah. and what will america do if it comes to it? >> i don't think we're being duped by the administration. there's a difference from 2003 in iraq. and the bush administration was eager to go into iraq. these days, the last thing the obama administration wants to do is go into iraq. in terms of will syria actually use them? i don't think we have any idea. what we do know, is they're not useful militarily. they're helpful in an negotiation, about getting them out. it's hard to see how they advance his cause. >> assad would face complete obliteration if he does this. and some say he wants asylum in venezuela or whatever. he's not a stupid man. why would he risk the wrath of the world ascending on him? >> it's hard to see how this advances his cause, except as part of the negotiation. if you're trying to get a better deal for your family, then, maybe it's useful. >> would this create an internal coup, with his background? i don't know how sane he is or not, and what h
CNN
Dec 9, 2012 4:00pm PST
for syrian president bashar al assad is weakening. fierce fighting threatening to engulf the city of damascus. >>> as that battle for the capital intensifies, the stakes are getting higher in syria, and the regime is getting even more desperate. the pentagon believes government troops have loaded bombs with sarin gas in what may be the last-ditch attempt for president assad to hold onto power. but as barbara starr reports now, a u.s. military strike on syria is not without risk. >> reporter: with the u.s. now believing the syrian government has chemical-filled bombs, cnn has learned the pentagon is secretly updating military strike options for president obama in the event he orders action. a senior u.s. official tells cnn a strike could be carried out with the ships and aircraft already stationed in the region. the planning is being driven by the latest intelligence which u.s. officials say shows sarin gas has been loaded into aerial bombs in at least two locations near airfields. syria seems to have crossed the line drawn by the president last august. >> a red line for us is we start seeing
CNN
Dec 12, 2012 4:00pm PST
the forces loyal to president bashar al assad, and how scud missiles have been fired. >>> the united states government says it shows just how desperate assad's regime is now getting. >>> and also, our first look at the shooter who police believe is responsible for last night's deadly rampage in a portland-area mall. police have identified him as well as the two people that he killed. let's go "outfront." >>> good evening, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield in for erin burnett tonight who is on assignment in afghanistan. we've got breaking news right off the top. cnn just learning that the united states does not believe that north korea is in full control of that satellite that it sent into space with the long-range rocket launch. this is according to a u.s. official to our barbara starr at the pentagon. up until now, by most accounts, this launch has been seen as a success, or certainly it raised the bar on how we view their capabilities. erin burnett spoke with defense secretary leon panetta, exclusively in kabul about this very issue. take a look. >> mr. secretary, thank you so much for taki
CNN
Dec 7, 2012 9:00am PST
to president bashir al assad are preparing bombs with chemical weapons. syrian soldiers fighting with rebels for control over the outskirts of damascus. now, witnesses tell cnn that 30 people were killed today in street battles across syria. we're also learning about a car bombing in the city of homs and a horrible, horrible discovery. dozens of bodies believed to be victims of a massacre. the same time rebel fighters, they are taking on syrian forces literally house to house in the country's largest city. that is aleppo, and that is where we find our arwa damon today. >> reporter: for two months the streets here have been a war zone. part of a bigger battle for control of aleppo, syria's largest city. this father of four is one of the rebel fighters here. this is our country, our homes that are being destroyed, he tells us. he used to sell thread. now he runs logistics for his unit. so what he is explaining to us is that this was street to street fighting, and it took his unit quite some time to advance and right now they have the tractor here because they're trying to clear out this road s
CNN
Dec 12, 2012 11:00am PST
a clear message to syrian president bashar al assad, saying the u.s. now recognizes the rebel coalition fighting against assad's crumbling regime, the president made that declaration in an interview with abc's barbara walters. >> the syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people in opposition to the assad regime. >> keep in mind here, what he just said, that doesn't mean that the u.s. will be arming the rebel forces. the declaration is just intended to be a showing of support. but all of this comes one day after a group of rebel fighters called the al nursa front are labeled a terrorist organizat n organization. some say this latest flurry of diplomacy was triggered by the threat that assad would use chemical weapons against his own people. cnn's arwa damon is in aleppo and has been trying to get close to this plant, believed to be one of syria's largest chemical weapons factories. watch this. >> reporter: in most of these villages, we don't d
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